Stations of Cross offer Lenten reflection in action

ABERDEEN St. Francis of Assisi, Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. followed by Mass at 5.
AMORY St. Helen, Fridays at 5 p.m., followed by Word and Communion Service.
BATESVILLE St. Mary, Fridays at 5 p.m.
BOONEVILLE St. Francis, Fridays at 5 p.m.
Chatawa St. Teresa of Avila, Fridays at 4:30 p.m.
CLEVELAND Our Lady of Victories, Fridays at 6 p.m.
COLUMBUS Annunciation School, Wednesday, April 12, at 2 p.m. in the gym
CORINTH St. James, Fridays at 7 p.m. with meatless soup at 6 p.m.
GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph, Wednesdays at 6 p.m., followed by Mass. On April 5, there will be Sacrament of Reconciliation from 5-7 p.m. (no Stations of the Cross).
GREENVILLE St. Joseph, Fridays at 5:30 p.m., March 31, followed by fish fry by KC ($10 per plate) and April 7, followed by shrimp and corn bisque ($10 per plate).
GREENWOOD Immaculate Heart of Mary, Fridays at noon and St. Francis of Assisi, Fridays at 6 p.m. in English. Spanish Stations of the Cross at 6:30 p.m.
GRENADA St. Peter, Fridays at 6:15 p.m. followed by soup and salad supper by Knights of Columbus.
HERNANDO Holy Spirit, Fridays at 6:30 p.m. followed by a Lenten meal (March 31) or fish fry (April 7) Good Friday at 3 p.m.
HOLLY SPRINGS St. Joseph, Fridays at 3 p.m.
Iuka St. Mary, Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. followed by liturgy and Bible study.
JACKSON Holy Family, Fridays at 6 p.m.
– St. Peter Cathedral, Adoration and Stations of the Cross Fridays 4:30 – 6 p.m.
– St. Richard, Fridays at 2: 15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi, Fridays, Parish Rosary at 6 p.m. followed by Stations of the Cross at 6:30 p.m. and Lenten meal at 7 p.m. Good Friday “Live” Way of the Cross at 2 p.m. (weather permitting)
McCOMB St. Alphonsus, Fridays at 6 p.m. followed by meal in Liguori Hall.
Magnolia St. James, Fridays at 5:30 p.m. followed by meal in James Hall.
MERIDIAN St. Patrick, Friday, April 7, at 6 p.m. followed by fish fry fundraiser for Relay for Life team. Good Friday “Live” Way of the Cross at 5 p.m.
MERIDIAN St. Joseph, Friday, March 31, at 6 p.m.
NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, Fridays at 12:05 p.m. and the 5:15 pm followed by a fish fry in O’Connor Family Life Center (except on Good Friday).
NATCHEZ, Assumption, Fridays at 5:30 p.m.
OLIVE BRANCH Queen of Peace, Fridays at 6:30 p.m. followed by a Lenten meal (March 31) or fish fry (April 7). Good Friday at 3:00 p.m.
RAYMOND Immaculate Conception, Fridays at 7 p.m.
ROBINSONVILLE Good Shepherd, Wednesday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. and Wednesday, April 5, at 6:30 p.m. Both will be followed by a Lenten meal
SARDIS St. John, Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. followed by a Word and Communion Service.
SENATOBIA St. Gregory, Fridays at 6:30 p.m. followed by a Lenten meal. Good Friday at 3 p.m.
SHAW St. Francis, Fridays after 6 p.m. Mass
SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, Fridays at 6:30 p.m. followed by either a Fish Fry (March 31) or Lenten Meal (April 7). Good Friday at 3 p.m.
TUPELO St. James, After 12:10 p.m. Mass; 6 p.m. with Benediction; 7 p.m. Spanish Stations of the Cross, Fish Fry on March 31 by KC
VICKSBURG St. Michael, Fridays at 5:30 p.m. followed by a fish fry by the Knights of Columbus.
VICKSBURG St. Paul, Fridays at 5:15 p.m. First Friday Mass and Anointing of the Sick on April 7, at noon followed by lunch in Farrell Hall
YAZOO CITY St. Mary, Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. followed by Mass and soup supper in the parish hall.

Seminarian summer assignments announced

Every summer, seminarians studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Jackson are assigned to ministry in a parish or service center as part of their formation. Bishop Joseph Kopacz has approved the following assignments for this summer:

Deacon Nick Adam– Jackson St. Richard Parish
Deacon Aaron Williams – Meridian St. Patrick and St. Joseph Parishes

Andrew Bowden – Our Lady of Victories, Cleveland
Juan Carlos Camacho – St. Therese, Jackson
Andrew Nguyen – Institute for Priestly Formation, Creighton University

Adolfo Suarez-Pasillas and Cesar Sanchez-Fermin – St. Dominic’s hospital, Jackson
Hayden Schmitt & Tristan Stovall – Catholic Camp in Pontotoc



Bishop’s team roll out pastoral priorities

JACKSON – Father Kevin Slattery, far right, introduces resource team members (l-r) Joyce Hart, Pam Minninger, Patty Greene, Maureen Smith and Tom Walsh. (Photo by Elsa Baughman)

JACKSON – Father Kevin Slattery, far right, introduces resource team members (l-r) Joyce Hart, Pam Minninger, Patty Greene, Maureen Smith and Tom Walsh. (Photo by Elsa Baughman)

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – A hundred people gathered at St. Dominic Centre in Jackson on Sunday, March 19, to begin the process of implementing the new diocesan vision, mission and pastoral priorities. The participants came from parishes across the Deanery one area with some visitors from Deanery two. Bishop Joseph Kopacz had hoped to lead all of the implementation sessions, but the death of his brother meant that he had to miss the first two.

JACKSON – Members of the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle discuss the new mission, vision and priorities with their pastor, Father Anthony Quyet, center. (Photo by Maureen Smith)

JACKSON – Members of the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle discuss the new mission, vision and priorities with their pastor, Father Anthony Quyet, center. (Photo by Maureen Smith)

Father Kevin Slattery, vicar general, led off the session by going over the data gathered during last year’s listening sessions. He then introduced the new vision, mission and priorities.
Maureen Smith, director of communications, presented how the process will move forward. Each parish will convene a team to prayerfully consider the priorities. They will be expected to write a new set of goals for their parish community based on the new priorities. Each parish will be provided with a diocesan resource person who can guide them through the process of writing and executing SMART goals to help them support the new mission, vision and priorities.
SMART is an acronym which stands for goals which are specific and measurable, motivating, attainable, relevant and time-bound. The groups got instruction in how to narrow down big concepts into goals, tasks and time-lines. They also met the resource people who will be working with them.
Then, the crowd broke into parish groups who tried their hands at a sample SMART goal. The parish groups will meet during the next three to five years to continue to work on the priorities. During the next two weeks, a team from the chancery will travel to each deanery to host the same workshop. While these meetings are open to the public, they are especially designed for the people who will be working on the parish teams to write and execute SMART goals. The meetings are not specific to the area so anyone can attend any meeting. The schedule is below.

Bible, like cellphone, should be carried always

By Junno Arocho Estaves
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Christians should care about reading God’s messages in the Bible as much as they care about checking messages on their cellphones, Pope Francis said.
As Christ did in the desert when tempted by Satan, men and women can defend themselves from temptation with the word of God if they “read it often, meditate on it and assimilate it” into their lives, he said before praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square March 5.
“What would happen if we turned back when we forget it, if we opened it more times a day, if we read the messages of God contained in the Bible the way we read messages on our cellphones?” the pope asked the crowd.
The pope’s reflection centered on the day’s Gospel reading (Mt. 4:1-11) in which Jesus is tempted by the devil while fasting in the desert for 40 days and nights before beginning his ministry.
Satan, he said, attempts to dissuade Jesus from fulfilling his message and to undermine his divinity by tempting him twice to perform miracles like “a magician” and lastly, by adoring “the devil in order to have dominion over the world.”
“Through this triple temptation, Satan wants to divert Jesus from the path of obedience and humiliation – because he knows that through that path evil will be defeated – and take him on the false shortcut of success and glory,” the pope said.
However, Jesus deflects “the poisonous arrows of the devil” not with his own words but “only with the Word of God.”
Christians, the pope continued, are called to follow Jesus’ footsteps and “confront the spiritual combat against the evil one” through the power of God’s word which has the “strength to defeat Satan.”
“The Bible contains the word of God, which is always relevant and effective. Someone once said: What would happen if we treated the Bible like we treated our cellphones? What would happen if we always brought it with us, or at least a small pocket-sized Gospel?” he asked.
While the comparison between the Bible and a cellphone is “paradoxical,” he added, it is something that all Christians are called to reflect on during the Lenten season.
“If we have the Word of God always in our hearts, no temptation could separate us from God and no obstacle would deviate us from the path of good,” the pope said.
After praying the Angelus prayer with the faithful in the square, Pope Francis asked for prayers before departing for a weeklong Lenten retreat with members of the Roman Curia.
Lent, he said, “is the path of the people of God toward Easter, a path of conversion, of fighting evil with the weapons of prayer, fasting and works of charity,” Pope Francis said. “I wish everyone a fruitful Lenten journey,” he said.
(Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.)

Nothing is Ever Really Ours

By Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI


Father Ron Rolheiser

Everything is gift. That’s a principle that ultimately undergirds all spirituality, all morality and every commandment. Everything is gift. Nothing can be ultimately claimed as our own. Genuine moral and religious sensitivity should make us aware of that. Nothing comes to us by right.
This isn’t something we automatically know. During a class some years ago, a monk shared with me how, for all the early years of his religious life, he had been resentful because he had to ask permission of his Abbott if he wanted anything: “I used to think it was silly, me, a grown man, supposedly an adult, having to ask a superior if I wanted something. If I wanted a new shirt, I would have to ask the Abbott for permission to buy it. I thought it was ridiculous that a grown man was reduced to being like a child.”
But there came a day when he felt differently. “I am not sure of all the reasons, but one day I came to realize that there was a purpose and wisdom in having to ask permission for everything. I came to realize that nothing is ours by right and nothing may be taken as owned. Everything’s a gift. Everything needs to be asked for. We need to be grateful to the universe and to God just for giving us a little space.
Now, when I ask permission from the Abbott because I need something, I no longer feel like a child. Rather, I feel like I’m properly in tune with the way things should be, in a gift-oriented universe within which none of us has a right to ultimately claim anything as one’s own.
This is moral and religious wisdom, but it’s a wisdom that goes against the dominant ethos within our culture and against some of our strongest inclinations. Both from without and from within, we hear voices telling us: If you cannot take what you desire then you’re weak, and weak in a double way. First, you’re a weak person, too timid to fully claim what’s yours. Second, you’ve been weakened by religious and moral scruples so as to be incapable of seizing the day. To not claim what is yours, to not claim ownership, is not a virtue but a fault.
It was those kinds of voices that this monk was hearing during his younger years and because of them he felt resentful and immature.
But Jesus wouldn’t echo these voices. The Gospels make it pretty clear that Jesus would not look on so much that is assertive, aggressive and accumulative within our society, despite the praise and envy it receives, and see this as admirable, as healthily seizing the day. I doubt too that Jesus would share our admiration of the rich and famous who claim, as by right, their excessive wealth and status.
When Jesus states that it is harder for a rich person to go to heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, he might have mitigated this by adding: “Unless, of course, the rich person, childlike, asks permission from the universe, from the community, and from God, every time he buys a shirt!” When Jesus tells us that children and the poor go to heaven more easily he is not idolizing either their innocence or poverty. He’s idolizing the need to recognize and admit our dependence. Ultimately we don’t provide for ourselves and nothing is ours by right.
When I was in the Oblate novitiate, our novice master tried to impress upon us the meaning of religious poverty by making us write inside of every book that was given us the Latin words: Ad Usum. Latin for: For use. The idea was that, although this book was given to you for your personal use, you ultimately did not own it. It’s was just yours temporarily.
We were then told that this was true of everything else given us for our personal use, from our toothbrushes to the shirts on our backs. They were not really ours, but merely given us for our use.
One of the young men in that novitiate eventually left the order and became a medical doctor. He remains a close friend and he once shared with me how even today, as a doctor, he still writes those words, Ad Usum, inside all his books: “I don’t belong to a religious order and don’t have the vow of poverty, but that principle our novice master taught us is just as valid for me in the world as it is for any professed religious. Ultimately we don’t own anything. Those books aren’t mine, really. They’ve been given me, temporarily, for my use. Nothing belongs to anybody and it’s good never to forget that!”
It’s not a bad thing as an adult to have to ask permission to buy a new shirt. It reminds us that the universe belongs to everyone and that all of us should be deeply grateful that it gives us even a little space.
(Oblate Father Ron Rolheiser, theologian, teacher and award-winning author, is President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, TX.)

Bishop Kopacz mourns brother, Robert

Robert S. Kopacz, 69, of Dunmore, died Friday, March 17, at home. He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Catherine Laggan, who died Aug. 11, 2013. They had been married 43 years.
Born in Scranton, son of the late Stanley S. and Carmella M. Calomino Kopacz, he was a member of Immaculate Conception Church, Scranton. He was a graduate of Dunmore High School class of 1965 and was employed by RCA Corporation before retirement.
His family would like to thank the nursing staff and hospitalist program at Moses Taylor Hospital and Dr. Michael Sunday for their care.
Surviving are a daughter, Jennifer Coar and companion, Dan Berger, Dunmore; a son, attorney Robert J. Kopacz and wife, Kerri, Dunmore; grandchildren, Kathleen, Emma and Caroline Coar, and Abigail, Patrick and Aiden Kopacz; a sister, MaryEllen Negri, Moosic; a brother, Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz, Jackson, Miss.; nieces and nephews.
The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Tuesday, March 21 at Immaculate Conception Church, Scranton. Interment took place at Cathedral Cemetery, Scranton.

El servicio como diáconos hace mejores sacerdotes

Por Opisbo Joseph Kopacz
Las ordenaciones al diaconado transitorio de Nick Adams y Aaron Williams fueron celebraciones jubilosas para todos aquellos que han cultivado sus vocaciones a lo largo de sus vidas. Principalmente estamos agradecidos a sus familias de origen, y especialmente a sus padres, quienes sembraron la semilla de la fe en el bautismo y los criaron de una forma tan amorosa que estuvieron abiertos a la llamada de Jesús a seguirlo en la vocación del ministerio ordenado. Festejando junto a los recién ordenados diáconos y sus familias en la Iglesia San Patricio en Meridian y en la Catedral de San Pedro Apóstol en Jackson estaban muchos otros que los acompañaron a través de los años: seminaristas y profesores, sacerdotes y diáconos, feligreses de alrededor de la diócesis y amigos, todos parte del cuerpo de Cristo, el pueblo de Dios, quienes los abrazaron con una expresión de alegría de fe, de esperanza y de amor, en las dos liturgias Eucarísticas.
En el camino al sacerdocio el diaconado transitorio pasa rápidamente y los diáconos Nick y Aarón, subsecuentemente serán ordenados sacerdotes para la Diócesis de Jackson. Pero el carácter permanente del diaconado permanecerá como una marca distintiva del sacerdocio. Han sido configurados a Cristo el Siervo como diáconos y se esforzarán cada día por la gracia de Dios a seguir al Señor que vino, no para ser servido, sino a servir y a dar su vida como rescate por muchos” (Mateo 20:28). Como yo lo he hecho, tú debes hacerlo, (Jn 13:15) son las inmortales palabras de Jesús en la Última Cena, después de lavarle los pies a sus discípulos. Ellos servirán al Señor de una triple manera: en su Palabra, como heraldos del Evangelio y predicadores, como ministros de los sagrados misterios en el altar y como dedicados discípulos de la caridad y de bondad de diversas maneras. Este ministerio de servicio profundizará su llamada a convertirse en sacerdotes que serán siervos-líderes con la mente y el corazón de Jesucristo.
Nicholas Adam fue ordenado diácono el día de la fiesta de San Patricio, 17 de marzo, y el nombre del gran apóstol misionero de Irlanda se agregó a la letanía de los santos. Además de la carne de vaca (corned beef) en un viernes de Cuaresma, el don de las inspiradoras palabras de San Patricio alimentaron la celebración eucarística de la ordenación. Al igual que el misionero irlandés que vino desde otros lugares a evangelizar y servir, así el diácono Nick ha abrazado a la gente de Mississippi, habiendo llegado desde otra tierra al este.
¿Quién soy yo, Señor, y cuál es mi vocación que trabajaste en mí con tal poder divino? Lo hiciste, para que lo que me pase a mí, yo pueda aceptar el bien y el mal igualmente, siempre dando gracias a Dios. Él respondió a mi oración de tal manera que podría ser lo suficientemente audaz como para tomar tan santo y tan maravillosa tarea e imitar en cierto grado a aquellos a quienes el Señor había predicho hace mucho tiempo como heraldos del Evangelio, dando testimonio a todas las naciones.
Mensajeros de buenas noticias en verdad. Al diácono ordenado se le da el Evangelio de Cristo en la culminación de la ceremonia de ordenación para dar testimonio a las naciones en el siglo 21. Recibe el Evangelio de Cristo cuyo mensajero has llegado a ser. Cree lo que lees; enseña lo que crees; practica lo que enseñas.
Al día siguiente el diácono Aaron fue ordenado en la liturgia del sábado por la tarde del tercer domingo de Cuaresma. Como narra el Evangelio de Juan, Jesús se sentó a descansar en el poso de Jacob al mismo tiempo que la mujer samaritana llegó con su balde para el agua. Como sabemos el encuentro transformó la vida complicada de esta mujer. Llegó arrastrando su balde en el calor del mediodía día del cual sabemos un poco en nuestros veranos de Mississippi y partió con pies alados en su nueva vida como discípulo misionero. Ella entendió que el Mesías no necesitaba un balde para sumergirla en el manantial de agua que mana a la vida eterna. Ella es nuestro paradigma durante la Cuaresma mientras anhelamos que el Señor agite las aguas de nuestro propio bautismo, sabiendo que ya está esperando antes de que lleguemos.
Otro Santo excepcional invocado durante la letanía de los Santos en la liturgia de la ordenación es San Efrén, diácono de la Iglesia oriental que vivió en el siglo cuarto. Amaba la liturgia y compuso una enorme recopilación de himnos y poesía que están repletos de sabiduría bíblica y teología. Él es un intercesor apropiado para Aaron que ama la liturgia y también ha escrito piezas litúrgicas. El siguiente es de las obras de San Efrén y reconocemos la armonía con el encuentro de Jesús y la samaritana.
El aliento que emana de alguien venido del paraíso da dulzura a la amargura de esta región, templa la maldición en esta tierra nuestra. Ese jardín es el aliento de vida de este mundo enfermo que ha estado tanto tiempo en enfermedad; ese aliento proclama que un remedio salvador ha sido enviado a sanar nuestra mortalidad.
De esta manera es con otra primavera, llena de perfumes, que sale de Eden y penetra en la atmósfera como una brisa benéfica por la cual nuestras almas se revuelven; nuestra inhalación es sanada por este aliento curativo del paraíso;
las primaveras reciben una bendición de esa bendita primavera que emite a partir de ahí.
Si supieras el don de Dios son las palabras que Jesús habló a la samaritana revelando su profunda sed por su fe y su salvación. Celebramos el regalo de Dios mediante la fe y la esperanza que no defrauda porque el amor de Dios ha sido derramado en nuestros corazones por el Espíritu Santo. (Romanos 5:5) Qué el Señor renueve nuestra fe durante este tiempo de Cuaresma mientras seguimos a la samaritana de la oscuridad a la luz de un nuevo día.

Service as deacons makes better priests

By Bishop Joseph Kopacz
The ordinations to the transitional diaconate of Nick Adam and Aaron Williams were joyful celebrations for all who have nurtured their vocations throughout their lives. Most of all we are grateful to their families of origin, and especially their parents, who planted the seed of faith in baptism and raised them in such loving ways that they were open to the call of the Lord Jesus to follow him in the vocation of ordained ministry.
Surrounding the newly ordained deacons and their families at Saint Patrick’s in Meridian and in the Cathedral of Saint Peter the Apostle in Jackson were many others who accompanied them through the years. Seminarians and faculty, priests and deacons, parishioners from around the diocese and friends, all part of the Body of Christ, the people of God, who embraced them in a joyful expression of faith, hope and love in both Eucharistic liturgies.
On the path to priesthood the transitional diaconate passes quickly and Deacons Nick and Aaron then will be ordained as priests for the Diocese of Jackson. Yet the enduring character of the diaconate will remain as a distinguishing mark of the priesthood. They have been configured to Christ the Servant as deacons and will strive each day by God’s grace to follow the Lord who came, not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20,28) As I have done, so you must do, (John 13,15) are the timeless words of Jesus at the Last Supper after he washed the feet of his disciples.
They will serve the Lord in a threefold manner: in his Word, as heralds of the Gospel and preachers, as ministers of the sacred mysteries at the altar and as dedicated disciples of charity and goodness in manifold ways. This ministry of service will deepen their call to become priests who will be servant-leaders with the mind and heart of Jesus Christ.
Deacon Nicholas Adam was ordained on the feast of Saint Patrick, March 17, and the name of the great missionary apostle to Ireland was added to the Litany of Saints. Besides the gift of corned beef on a Friday in Lent, the gift of Saint Patrick’s inspiring words nourished the Eucharistic celebration of ordination. Like the Irish missionary who came from elsewhere to evangelize and serve, so Deacon Nick has embraced the people of Mississippi, having come from another land to the east.
Who am I, Lord, and what is my calling, that you worked through me with such divine power? You did it, so that whatever happened to me, I might accept good and evil equally, always giving thanks to God. God is never to be doubted. He answered my prayer in such a way that I might be bold enough to take up so holy and so wonderful a task, and imitate in some degree those whom the Lord had so long ago foretold as heralds of the Gospel, bearing witness to all the nations.
Heralds of Good News indeed. The ordained deacon is given the Gospel of Christ at the culmination of the ordination ceremony to bear witness to the nations in the 21st century. “Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read; teach what you believe; practice what you teach.”
On the following day Deacon Aaron Williams was ordained at the Saturday evening liturgy of the third Sunday of Lent. As the Gospel of John narrates, Jesus sat down to rest at Jacob’s well at the same time the Samaritan woman arrived with her bucket. As we know the encounter transformed the train wreck of this woman’s life. She arrived dragging her bucket in the noon day heat which we know a little bit about in our Mississippi summers, and departed with winged feet into her new life as a missionary disciple. She understood that the Messiah did not need a bucket to immerse her in the spring of water welling up to eternal life. She is our paradigm during Lent as we thirst for the Lord to stir the waters of our own Baptism, knowing that he is already waiting before we arrive.
Another outstanding saint invoked during the Litany of Saints in the ordination liturgy is Saint Ephrem, a deacon of the Eastern Church who lived in the fourth century. He loved the liturgy and composed an enormous compilation of hymns and poetry which are replete with biblical wisdom and theology. He is a fitting intercessor for Aaron who loves the liturgy and has also written liturgical pieces. The following is from the works of Saint Ephrem and we recognize the harmony with the encounter of Jesus and the Samaritan woman.

The breath that wafts from some blessed comer of Paradise
gives sweetness to the bitterness of this region,
it tempers the curse on this earth of ours.
That Garden is the life-breath of this diseased world
that has been so long in sickness; that breath proclaims that a saving remedy
has been sent to heal our mortality.

Thus it is with another spring, full of perfumes,
which issues from Eden and penetrates into the atmosphere
as a beneficial breeze by which our souls are stirred;
our inhalation is healed by this healing breath from Paradise;
springs receive a blessing from that blessed spring which issues forth from there.
‘If you knew the Gift of God’ are the words that Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman revealing his deep thirst for her faith and salvation. We celebrate the Gift of God through faith, and the hope that does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5,5) May the Lord renew our faith during this season of Lent as we follow the Samaritan woman from darkness into the light of a new day.


CHATAWA St. Mary of the Pines Retreat Center, “The Art of Discernment in Marriage,” Married couples’ retreat April 21-23. Experience the peace and beauty of the pine woods in a weekend of learning to know God, self and each other better. Retreat leaders: Robin and Easton Hebert from Lafayette, Louisiana. Details: Sister Helen Roper (601) 341-9447 (cell) or email
COLUMBUS Annunciation, the “All Catholic Things” scripture study invites all women of the parish to a presentation on the Passion of Christ as depicted in art though the ages by Angie Bourgeois, head of the art department at Mississippi State University. It will be a covered-dish brunch, Tuesday April 4 at 10 a.m. in the Activities Center. Details: (662) 328-2927.
HOUSTON, Texas, The National Catholic Bible Conference, May 5-6 at St. John Vianney Catholic Church. “Discipleship: Taking the Word to Heart.” Discover what it means to be a faithful disciple, learn how to follow Christ in your everyday life and experience the blessings that God has in store for those who love him. Details: or call 901.853.7468
STANTON, Tenn. Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat, Our Lady Queen of Peace Retreat Center, June 16-18. Are you suffering with emotional and spiritual pain after an abortion? Experience the healing love of Jesus Christ. Includes talks with others who have had abortions and who understand exactly how you feel, as well as spiritual exercises to help you on your journey of healing. Participation is strictly confidential. Details: contact Cathy at (901) 463-3595 or

COLUMBUS Annunciation, Lenten Scripture study, Mondays at 7 p.m. in the Activities Center conference room. Based on weekly scripture readings. Details: Joe Haftek (662) 549-5151 or
JACKSON “The Sisters of St. Dominic’s Hospital: Bringing the Grace and Mercy of God’s Unconditional Love to Jackson, Miss.,” The Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, annual women’s retreat, Saturday, April 22, time TBA. Light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Seating is limited and early registration is strongly encouraged. The registration fee is $15. Details or to register, contact Anne Martin at (601) 421-8122 or
JACKSON Holy Ghost, St. Joseph’s Circle is hosting an “Easter Tea” on Palm Sunday, April 9, after 10 a.m. Mass in the Father George Artis Parish Life Center. All ladies and gentlemen of the parish are encouraged to wear their stylish hats to Mass on that day. Tickets on sale after Sunday Masses. Ticket cost is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children under 12. Details: Cynthia Longino (601-940-0308) or Rachel Harris (601-362-6668)
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi, Cajun Fest 2017, Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Features Cajun food, Cold drinks and live music, children’s games, raffles, general store and plenty of opportunity to socialize. Sponsorships of $300 or more will be included on the back of Cajun Fest T-shirt. Sponsorship form must be received by April 14 to be included on the back of t-shirts. Details: (601) 856-5556.


Brother Terry ORourkeJames M. “Brother Terry” O’Rourke, 82, died March 10 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Brother Terry was a Glenmary Home Missioner for 58 years. He served in the Diocese of Jackson at Aberdeen St. Francis of Assisi. During that assignment, Brother Terry assisted in training service dogs to help the disabled.
He took senior status in 2004 but remained active. In 1996, Brother Terry started a local food pantry in Aberdeen. He continued to manage the pantry until 2010. He moved to the Glenmary residence in Cincinnati in 2016.
Burial was at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Cincinnati. Memorials may be made to Glenmary Home Missioners, P.O. Box 465618, Cincinnati, OH 45246-5618.


SINSINAWA, Wis.—Sister Geraldine Hoye, OP, will celebrate her 60th jubilee in June. Her parish is St. Stephen, Chicago. A Mass will be held in Queen of the Rosary HoyeGeraldineChapel at Sinsinawa Mound on Sunday, June 4, for her and 20 other Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters celebrating 60 years.
Sister Hoye’s ministry has been dedicated to teaching, educational administration, pastoral ministry and faith formation. For many years, she was involved in education, serving as teacher and principal.
In the Diocese of Jackson, she served as pastoral minister at Tupelo St. James Parish from 1992-1999. She also served in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Sister Hoye is currently living in community at the motherhouse, Sinsinawa. Those who would like to honor Sister Hoye on her jubilee can visit the Sinsinawa Dominicans’ website at

Diocese welcomes two deacons on path to priesthood

JACKSON – Deacon Nick Adam, left, Bishop Joseph Kopacz and Deacon Aaron Williams leave the cathedral after Williams’ ordination Saturday, March 18. See details of both ordinations on pages 8-9. (Photo by Maureen Smith)

JACKSON – Deacon Nick Adam, left, Bishop Joseph Kopacz and Deacon Aaron Williams leave the cathedral after Williams’ ordination Saturday, March 18. See details of both ordinations on pages 8-9. (Photo by Maureen Smith)

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Friday, March 17, and again Saturday, March 18, the Diocese of Jackson gained two transitional deacons. Deacon Nick Adam, the youngest of eight, first pursued a career in broadcast journalism. Deacon Aaron Williams, a native of Jackson, became an altar server at age five and went to seminary directly out of high school.
The calls may have come differently, but the end result was the same. Deacons Adam and Williams both hope to be ordained into the priesthood next summer after spending a year in service to parishes.
Deacon Adam was ordained at Meridian St. Patrick Parish where he first discerned his call. He was working at television station WTOK as a sports and news anchor. He will spent the next year at Jackson St. Richard Parish.
Deacon Williams, ordained in his home parish of the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, will spend his transitional year in Meridian serving at St. Patrick and St. Joseph Parishes.
See Bishop Kopacz’ shares his reflection on the ordinations here. Read more about Deacon Aaron Williams here and Nick Adam here and continue to pray for these men and the other seminarians preparing for the priesthood for the Diocese of Jackson.